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NBC cancels ''Passions''

At the Television Critics Association tour, NBC President Kevin Reilly says the Peacock is canceling its zany soap, but bringing the love just the same.

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Passions, Galen Gering
Passions: Chris Haston

Take a seat, Justin Timberlake. NBC President Kevin Reilly thinks he brought sexy back to NBC. Well, maybe not sexy but at least a little more affection. ”I do believe we brought love back to the network,” Reilly said, referring to his new crop of fan favorites like Heroes and The Office. He then donned a silk robe and invited everyone to join him later in the hotel’s Jacuzzi.

Kidding.

Reilly did, however, offer some good news for fans of My Name Is Earl, The Office, Heroes, and Law & Order: SVU: All four were picked up for the 2007-2008 TV season. When asked if he knew where rookie hit Heroes was headed for the rest of the season, Reilly revealed that he was privy to creator Tim Kring’s plans. ”I have seen where it’s going and it’s going to be mind-blowing,” said Reilly. ”They’re going to stick the landing on this one.”

A Lack of Passion
Despite bringing love back, it appears there won’t be any more Passions at NBC. The network announced that the zany soap (Anyone remember Timmy, the evil doll played by a little person? I used to feel a kinship to him.) will finish out its run this summer. Reilly stressed that it was costs that had to do with the soap’s end but also alluded that it may have a future life in some kind of online component.

Game On
Reilly also announced that the Penn Jillette-hosted Identity would return in March along with a new show called Thank God You’re Here. The series, hosted by David Alan Grier, is a improv comedy competition and solidifies the network as the main employer of reasonably sad, middle-aged comedians. Yakov Smirnoff, you might want to send over a head shot.

Combover Controversey
Donald Trump showed up to plug the newest season of The Apprentice. The press immediately pounced upon Trump with the question on everyone’s minds: Did he have any involvement in the design of his Bobblehead doll? Yes, people, that was an actual question. Feel my pain. Feel it. The Trumpster also did talk about Rosie O’Donnell and the word ”disgusting” was bandied about.

Heroes Will Rise (and Fall)
Tim Kring and the cast of Heroes caused a packed house at the Ritz Carlton ballroom, a sure sign of their hit status. Kring wouldn’t divulge much about the future of the show, save to say that some of these heroes would be killed off. ”This is why we race to get the next script,” said costar Greg Grunberg. But one hero wasn’t too worried about biting the bullet. ”I die all the time,” said indestructible cheerleader Hayden Panetierre. ”I feel like Kenny on South Park!”

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